Why your consultants need JIRA Service Desk

Does your company employee consultants?

Does your company use JIRA? How about Confluence? A continually expanding group of organizations have one or both of these tools in place already or are in the process of adding them.

Ok, what do you use for your ITSM solution? Is it off-the-shelf, or is it cobbled together from various components? If you already use JIRA (and/or  Confluence), how well does your solution integrate with your Atlassian tooling? Have you considered JIRA Service Desk (JSD)?

There are a lot of articles on the benefits of JSD and why it is rapidly expanding in the service desk marketplace. I’m not going to go into all of that material today. Instead, I want to talk about an area of JSD I see as a huge benefit in my day-to-day work.

For almost twenty years I have done software engineering consulting on Enterprise projects. An intrinsic aspect of this is navigating IT processes to get access I need to system and corporate resources. Unfortunately, this frequently takes the form of: (1) email this person (2) go into the wiki and look for this (3) oh, wait, if that’s what you want, you should have emailed this other person (4) of course the info wasn’t on that page, you should have been looking here (5) take a couple of aspirin for the impending /facedesk (6) repeat. This happens regardless of an off-the-shelf ITSM tool or just a series of loosely connected systems. It often feels like these tools are written in FOSSIL (okay, that may not be a real language, but it feels like many of these tools are a petrified precursor to what ITSM should be).

If you are using JIRA and Confluence, JSD integrations will help avoid this cycle. There are two important ways these are mitigated: (1) knowledge base integration (2) customer self-ticket creation.

The first line of defense here is knowledge base integration. JSD’s customer facing portal can give non-IT staff access to smart search features using a Confluence knowledge base. Through machine learning, searches get better at returning relevant results over time. Many existing JSD users have seen significant decreases in IT requests simply because of this functionality. As a consultant, this is great! It means I don’t need to know an arcane set of internal web pages. Instead all I need is an internal customer portal URL and some search terms.

Of course you won’t find everything in the knowledge base. This is where self-service ticket creation, the second line of defense, comes in. JSD allows customers to easily create tickets. Customers don’t need to talk to an agent to create a ticket. Nor do they need to know all the minutiae a ticket may contain. In my case, once I have struck out on the knowledge base search, I don’t have to (1) go through a list of emails until I (hopefully) find the right person give me the access I need (2) navigate a ticketing system that may ask for groups, codes or other organizational parameters required by the request. Instead, I can just go to the customer JSD portal and create a ticket that will be routed appropriately.

In my experience, these two approaches resolve most of the administrative impediments to my work. This lets me spend more time working on what my client brought me in for in the first place, saving them money (and me headaches) in the long term.

If you would like more information on JIRA Service Desk, contact Danny Riley or Lia Wood.

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